From a program produced by Minneapolis Public Radio (MPR) and the Walker Art Center, Nigel Redden, Director for Performing Arts at the Minneapolis based Center, introduces selected performances from the 1980 New Music America Festival, which was held over nine days in June 1980. This second in a series of four programs, begins with “Pattern Study No 2” and aleatoric piece for piano saxophone, trombone, percussion and double bass, composed by Stacey Bowers. This is followed by the final movement of “Dryer” one of a number of short “Shaggy Dog Operas” by Tom Johnson. This humorous and slightly minimalistic piece features the composer on piano and a baritone who catches fish and hangs them up to dry while a tenor looks on, wondering why. The next piece, “Sunrise Celebration” is by Charlie Morrow, in which a local Minnesota drum and bugle corps performing as a hardy audience braves the predawn weather while enjoying coffee and pastries. Back in the concert hall, Julian Eastman and a piano ensemble perform his “Evil Nigger.” The second half of the program begins with an series of free improvisations by free jazz musicians Leroy Jenkins on violin and viola and Oliver Lake on saxophone. We next hear environmental sound artist Leif Brush describe his “Terraplane Chorography II” in which sounds from the surrounding natural environment were recorded, transmitted, electronically processed and played back over multiple speakers in a local park, brief excerpts of which are also included. This program then concludes with Peter Gordon and his Love of Life Orchestra in concert performing their particular brand of modern art-rock.
The 1980 New Music Festival brought together more than 75 composers and performers from such diverse backgrounds as contemporary classical, new wave rock, and experimental electronic music as well as a number of sound sculptors and performance artists, all of which are represented in this fascinating and informative series of programs.
This program was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
November 1, 2013 Subject:
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